Solemnity of All Saints
"But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life.” ~ Romans 6:22
November 1st is the feast of All Saints. The Catholic Church celebrates all canonized and not canonized saints on this day and offers the sacrifice of the mass in thanksgiving to God for their exemplary lives and encourages the laity to work towards attaining Heaven. This day is so important to the Church that it is a holy day of obligation, which means we should all attend mass.
All Saints Day was established by Pope Gregory III during his reign (731-741 AD) when he dedicated a chapel in Rome's St. Peter's Basilica in honor of all saints. This celebration was first limited to Rome, but in 837, Pope Gregory IV extended it officially to the rest of the Church.
This special feast reminds us of the universal calling to holiness. The catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that:
2013 "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and the perfection of charity." All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." To reach this perfection, the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.
Love is our primary vocation, and as we learn about the lives of the Saints, we realize that they made the ordinary extraordinary by doing it with God's grace and led by the Holy Spirit, for His Glory. Like Mother Teresa said, "Love until it hurts." We are encouraged to live our lives serving God through loving our neighbor, even if it is difficult. Saints radically loved God, in complete openness to their daily missions. Even though these known and unknown saints have attained eternal life, God has given them the task to intercede for us. Christians can have their personal "army of saint friends" that inspire them and root for them on their pilgrimage to Heaven.
A friend recently shared this compelling reflection with me on how close the saints are to us and the union of the body of Christ.
"How beautiful it is to sustain one another in the wonderful adventure of the faith! Within the communion of saints exists a great family where each one helps and sustains the other. An aspect of the communion of saints is the spiritual bond between those who continue their pilgrimage on earth and those who have passed the threshold of death into eternity. All who are baptized down here on earth, Purgatory's souls and all the blessed already in Paradise, form one big Family. This communion between Heaven and earth is realized, especially through the intercessory prayer - one of the highest forms of solidarity. And when we venerate these confirmed holy men and women through the Church's liturgical celebrations, we unite with these virtuous souls in an unbreakable alliance found nowhere else this side of Heaven."
Dear God, thank you for the example of the Saints. I desire to join in their company, worshiping you forever in Heaven. Please help me follow their footsteps, and yours, Jesus Christ. Please help me to conform myself to Your image, seeking Your will in all things, as the Saints did. Please help me to devote myself, and all that I do, to Your glory, and to the service of my neighbors. Amen 🙏
Happy Feast of All Saints!
All Holy Saints, Pray for Us ♥️
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